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Take Five: Britain's outdoor theatres

We round up five of the best outdoor theatres in the UK to coincide with half term and the long-awaited appearance of the sunshine

By • West End

Regent's Park Open Air Theatre
Located in the heart of Regent's Park, the Open Air Theatre originally opened in 1932 with a production of Twelfth Night. One of only two theatres in London to remain open throughout World War II, it has seen actors including Vivien Leigh, Eileen Atkins, Felicity Kendal, Anthony Andrews, Michael Gambon and, more recently, Sheridan Smith, Tracie Bennett and Oliver Ford Davies on its stage. The current summer season features Robert Sean Leonard in To Kill A Mockingbird, Jane Asher in Pride and Prejudice and The Sound of Music starring Michael Xavier and Charlotte Wakefield.

Shakespeare's Globe
A reconstruction of the Elizabethan Globe Theatre originally built in 1599, Shakespeare's Globe was founded by Sam Wanamaker (in whose honour the venue's new indoor theatre has just been named) and opened to the public in 1997 with a production of Henry V. Last year it held the award-winning Globe to Globe festival, which saw international theatre companies stage all of Shakespeare's 37 plays in 37 different languages. The current ‘season of plenty' includes The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Taming of the Shrew and Macbeth.

Minack Theatre
Located at Porthcurno in Cornwall, four miles from Land's End, the Minack Theatre opened in 1932 and was the brainchild of Rowena Cade. Stunningly located by the sea, the theatre's 75th Anniversary in 2007 was celebrated with a production of The Tempest. Open to visitors throughout the year, the venue hosts shows from May to September. Upcoming productions include Mack and Mabel, Waiting for Godot and Anne Boleyn.

Scoop Theatre
Situated between London and Tower Bridges on the south side of the River Thames, next to City Hall, the Scoop at More London provides seating for approximately 800 people. It offers free events throughout the year, and was launched in 2003. The upcoming 11th Free Open Air Theatre Season will feature two fully staged productions inspired by the ancient Greek city of Thebes, Prince of Thebes and Oedipus and Antigone, and will run from 7 August to 1 September 2013.

Kilworth House Theatre
Opened in 2007, Kilworth House Theatre is located in the grounds of Kilworth House Hotel in Leicestershire. With seating for over 500 people, previous productions have included The Pirates of Penzance, Oklahoma! and The Little Shop of Horrors, while upcoming productions this year include My Fair Lady and Anything Goes.

Tags: To Kill A MockingbirdOutdoor theatreRegent's Park Open AirScoopTake Five


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